young couple holding hands

This is it. The moment you’ve been waiting for. Your palms are sweating, you’re trying not to hyperventilate as you think about finally meeting your boyfriend’s parents for the first time.

Although he reassured you that things will be fine and they will love you, you’ve already pictured how your meeting will go and planned your escape route. Meeting your boyfriend’s parents for the first time is nerve wracking. It’s a sign that your relationship is taking a serious turn and moving in the right direction. Even though you’re in a committed relationship and see him as your forever person, you can’t help from freak out about this huge milestone.

Take a deep breath.

You’ve got this. Here’s our definitive survival guide on what to do once you’re ready to take this step.

1. Give yourself five minutes to freak out.
Feeling nervous is completely natural. The reason why you’re freaking out is because you really like this guy and want his family to like you too. It’s okay to freak out but you have to remember this: All parents want their children to be happy. If you make him happy, they are going to make the effort to get to know you. Keep this in mind any time you come down with a serious case of nerves.

2. Now that you’ve had proper time to freak out, come up with a game plan.
My mother always told me that I should never go to a person’s house empty handed, especially when I’m meeting them for the first time. Their first impression of you is what lasts the longest. This applies to your meeting. Ask your boyfriend about your parents interests and try to match that with a small but thoughtful gift. They’ll appreciate the fact that you were thinking of them and went out of your way to make a good impression.

3. Be respectful. Period.
This goes without saying. It’s very easy to step on toes, especially when your thoughts are on a constant replay of “crap-what do I say-what do I do next”. It’s important to read cues. For example, if  there’s a topic that you know will be controversial or can taken the wrong way, avoid it at all costs!

4. Speaking of controversial topics, speak to your boyfriend beforehand.
This is very straightforward but is worth stating. Be upfront and ask him whether there is anything that you should avoid mentioning, whether it’s family history, politics, etc. The reverse also works. If there’s anything that you can discuss that will bring up brownie points, go for it!

5. Be on time.
We cannot stress this enough. When you are late, you are telling them that their time is not important to you, and meeting them is not a priority to you. Give yourself extra time to arrive early.

6. Most importantly, be yourself. Always.
We understand that you want to make a good impression, but you should never do this at the cost of who you are. His parents want to get to know you, not a version of you that you think they’d prefer.